Children of Divorce: Breaking the Resistance and Refusal Dynamic

Continuing Legal Education Topic Parental Alienation is a hot Family Law topic. There is heightened awareness and increased repercussions for parents guilty of intentionally turning their kids against the other parent. With this increased attention to alienation, there is also recognition of the slippery slope pattern of rejection of a parent labeled RRD (Resistance, Refusal Dynamic). Experienced Livingston County Child Custody Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently attended a Family Law Continuing Legal Education seminar where Hon. T.J. Ackert of the 17th Circuit Court Grand Rapids; Ben Burgess of  Parmelee and Associates in Grand Haven; and Connie R. Thacker of Thacker Sleight Continue Reading…

Proposed Changes to Michigan Child Custody

A look at Michigan House Bill 4691 The Michigan House Bill 4691, proposing changes to the Child Custody Act of 1970, was introduced on May 31, 2017 and has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary. (Citations below show proposed changes indicated by strikethroughs and the suggested language amendments in bold, all-caps.) The latest proposed changes to the Michigan child custody laws include the very title of the act. According to Michigan House Bill 4691 introduced by Reps. Runestad, Kelly, VanSingel, Lucido, Hauck, Cole and Tedder reads, “Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Continue Reading…

New for Co-Parents: Online Parenting Classes Now Available

Online Co-Parenting Classes May Satisfy Court Requirements There are online college degrees and virtual SAT tutoring so why not on online parenting classes? The digital age has given divorcing parents a solution to the difficulty of fitting court-ordered co-parenting classes into an already over-scheduled co-parenting life. Even if you are not required to do a co-parenting class by court order, it is a great idea to learn new techniques to parent together in difficult situations. Online parenting class providers include: Course for Parents Online Parent Class Online Parenting Programs Each online parenting class provider has a different programs and costs. Continue Reading…

Michigan Child Support Formula Updates for 2017

Every year there are (MCSF) Michigan Child Support Formula updates that determines how child support is calculated. Highland family law attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently attended the Institute of Continuing Legal Education Family Law Conference and came away with the article, “The 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Child Support, Period!” In general, the courts calculate child support based on the income of both parents and the number of overnights each parent has with the children. Here some highlights of the 2017 changes to income calculation for the purposes of child support: Michigan Child Support Formula Updates Retirement Payments The income Continue Reading…

Special Considerations of International Divorce

Increasingly, apps like Tinder, Facebook, Match.com, E-Harmony, WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, and WeChat are making finding and maintaining a long-distance relationships possible. According to statistics cited in an e-Harmony article, as many as 40 percent of Americans use online dating. Besides online dating sites, international couples sometimes meet when one person is on a business assignment, study abroad or military tour in the other’s country. As a society, our geographic boundaries for romantic attachments are stretching. But what happens when an international relationship turns into international divorce? International Marriage Benefits There are many positive aspects to a multi-cultural, international marriage as Corey Continue Reading…

Domestic Violence Screening Essential Before Mediation

Mediation is only safe and successful when both parties are capable of freely expressing their requirements. If one party is being abused, the mediation may be at best, unfair and at worst, unsafe. That’s why it’s crucial that attorneys and mediators follow the requirements for domestic violence screening  before proceeding with mediation. Experienced Highland Family Law Mediator Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently attended an ICLE (Institute of Continuing Legal Education) Family Law Seminar regarding Michigan domestic violence screening procedures. The session, “Screening for Domestic Violence in Mediation” was presented by Lore A. Rogers of the Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention & Continue Reading…

Michigan Medical Marihuana Use Shouldn’t Impact Custody

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act allows for citizens who have been diagnosed with specific illnesses or conditions to possess and use marihuana for treatment. The law also allows that, “A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau…” This includes custody arrangements as outlined in the following: “(c) A person shall not be denied custody or visitation Continue Reading…

What Constitutes Parental Alienation Situations?

A Quiz: Three Hypothetical Parental Alienation Situations It’s the night before a high school junior’s first AP exam and it is his father’s visitation time. According to his mother, the dad has shown a pattern of lax supervision resulting in the kids staying up late and running out the door without breakfast in the morning. What should she do? Let the child go to dad’s anyway. Put a box of granola bars in his backpack. Address it with the dad and let him know how important it is for that particular night that the kids sleep and eat well. Request a swap Continue Reading…

Future of Marriage: What Does it Look Like?

What will the Marriage of the Future look like? Renewable short-term marriage contracts? Mandatory Prenups? Long-term long-distance Marriage? Tri-Parent Families? People are pondering the Future of Marriage. Will it even still exist in 50 years? If so, will it resemble the marriage that is familiar to current generations? “The marriage apocalypse may be coming. Talk to any millennial and you can envision an America virtually marriage-free, with everyone happily single,” writes Carol Costello in her blog, “Ready for the Marriage Apocalypse?” “Right now, about 40% of Americans think marriage is obsolete as a concept. They are not sure it is Continue Reading…

Single Parenting: 4 Survival Tips

No question. Single parenting is daunting. No matter how few parental responsibilities the former spouse handled, after divorce, there are bound to be some holes. There may be some parenting concerns covered more sparsely than others – like a comb-over for child rearing duties. For many newly-solo parents, that first year after divorce is all about finding the holes and filling them. The Single Parenting list of responsibilities is LLOOOONG. Just when the cavities are filled and new sneakers purchased they need teacher gifts and SAT tutoring. Even with two parents losing sleep, the list can seem overwhelming. So it’s Continue Reading…